What can I do to prevent graphics card failure?

1. Clean Your Graphics Card: Dust and heat are two of the biggest enemies of any computer component, and a graphics card is no exception. Be sure to routinely clean the inside of your computer with compressed air to remove dust build up around the graphics card (and other components). Also consider regularly cleaning any fans on the graphics card with a soft brush.

2. Use Card-Specific Drivers: Using the latest drivers for your graphics card is important. Not only do they contain bug fixes, security updates and performance improvements, but they can help you avoid potential problems with compatibility and communication between your hardware and software.

3. Keep Track of Temperatures: Temperatures play a major role in how long your graphics card will last. Foremost, make sure your case has adequate airflow and cooling. Consider adding one or more additional case fans to help circulate cool air over your graphics card. Additionally, use either a hardware or software temperature monitoring utility to keep an eye on your graphics cards’ temperature levels.

4. Avoid Overclocking: Overclocking your graphics card by increasing its operating speed can cause it to overheat and fail prematurely. Avoiding overclocking — and setting your card back to its factory settings if you’ve already done so — will help keep your graphics card in peak condition.

5. Upgrade Power Supply Unit: The power supply unit (PSU) is the energy source for all the computer components. Make sure the PSU can provide enough wattage to power your graphics card. As a rule of thumb, it should have at least an 80-plus bronze certification and be rated to deliver more than the total power draw of all the components combined.

6. Protect Against Power Surges: Power surges are sudden spikes in voltage that can quickly damage computer components, including the graphics card. To protect against this, use a surge protector or uninterruptible power supply to guard against sudden power spikes.

7. Handle Cards Carefully: When adding or removing a graphics card, be sure to wear an electrostatic discharge (ESD) wrist strap, which helps protect components from damaging static electricity. Also, be sure to handle the card with care — avoid bending or twisting the slot. You should also use caution when plugging in or unplugging cables to your graphics card.

8. Turn Off Your Computer When Unplugging Components: Before unplugging or powering off components, ensure that the computer is turned off. This avoids sudden power spikes that could potentially damage the electronics.

9. Don’t Play Games When Your PC Is Hot: Gaming puts a lot of strain on the graphics card and generates a lot of heat. If your computer is already warm, playing games can raise temperatures even higher and increase the likelihood of thermal shutdown or even permanent damage.

10. Perform Regular Maintenance: Don’t forget to perform regular maintenance on your computer. Routinely check fan speeds, clean dust buildup, and examine the overall situation of all components. If any signs of wear, tear, or other issues come to light, take the necessary steps to address them.

11. Monitor Your Graphics Card on a Regular Basis: Use a hardware or software utility to monitor the graphics card for any problems or anomalies. Elite Software’s Hmonitor is a great choice for hardware monitoring, while MSI Afterburner is an excellent option for monitoring things like core, memory, and shader clocks. Pay attention to accelerometer readings, fan speed, clock speed, voltage, and temperature.

12. Consider Buying An Extended Warranty: An extended warranty can be a great way to extend the life of your graphics card. Pioneer manufacturer EVGA offers a three-year warranty on many of their graphics cards and up to five-years on their ultra-premium models.

13. Buy The Right Card For Your System: Not all graphics cards are the same and some are not compatible with certain systems. Before buying a card, read up on recommended system specs and compatibility requirements. That way, you won’t buy a card that’s underpowered or out of place in your system.

14. Use Heat Sinks and Fan Hubs: Some aftermarket graphics cards come with a variety of additional features, such as heat sinks and fan hubs. These can help reduce the overall temperature of your graphics card and keep it running in peak condition for the long term.

15. Know How to Troubleshoot GPU Problems: Knowing how to troubleshoot GPU problems can save hours of frustration and help you fix problems before they become major ones. Before doing anything else, restart your computer to see if that resolves the issue. If that doesn’t work, try updating/rolling back your drivers, disabling/uninstalling any third-party programs, and checking your BIOS.

16. Use Hardware-Accelerated Applications: Hardware-accelerated applications (apps that use the GPU to render visuals instead of putting the burden on the CPU) are becoming more and more common. This helps reduce the load on the GPU, which can help to extend its life.

17. Upgrade Your Computer Every Few Years: Computers are constantly evolving. Older systems may struggle to keep up with more modern games and applications, which can cause undue stress on the graphics card. Upgrading every few years can help ensure your components stay current and your GPU can continue to handle the load.

18. Consider Buying a Premium Graphics Card: Buying a premium or high-specification graphics card may cost a bit more initially, but they usually come with better components and higher build quality. Investing in a more reliable card now can help save time and money down the road.

19.Know When to Replace Your Graphics Card: Even with proper maintenance, your graphics card will eventually reach the end of its operational life. If you start to experience frequent crashes or a noticeable decrease in performance, it may be time for an upgrade. If your card is completely unresponsive, dead, or making a weird smell, it’s definitely time to replace it.